The Missouri Broadcasters Association presented IP partner Mark Sableman with its “Friend of Missouri Broadcasters” Award at its annual convention in early June. The award is given to non-broadcasters who have provided strong support for MBA and issues favorable to broadcasters. Past winners include former U.S. Senators Thomas Eagleton and John Danforth, then-Representative Roy Blunt, and Missouri Supreme Court Judge Charles Blackmar.
The award was based on Thompson Coburn’s representation of the MBA for the last 25 years, for which Mark was lead counsel. Mark also served on the MBA Board of Directors for 17 years. IP partner Mike Nepple now serves as lead counsel for MBA and as a member of its board.
MBA President Emeritus Mark Gordon presented the award, noting Mark’s long track record with the broadcasters, including Thompson Coburn’s victory in Missouri Broadcasters Association v. Schmitt, in which the Eighth Circuit held unconstitutional a Missouri statute and regulations that prohibited truthful advertising of alcohol prices and discounts.
The Missouri Broadcasters Association represents the interests of more than 350 radio and television stations in the state. Over the years, many Thompson Coburn lawyers, including, among others, Mike Nepple, Janette Lohman, Krissa Lubben, Sharon Rosenberg, Tony Blum, Jennifer Visintine, Jeff Fink, Gordon Ankney, Steve Mitchell, and Bill Bay, have helped MBA with a broad set of media, litigation, tax, legislative, and general business matters. The work has ranged from technical tax legislation tied to the upgrade in televisions signals to litigation over a white supremacist who tried to use a sham political candidacy to force broadcasters to run commercials with hateful content. Thompson Coburn also runs a legal hotline for MBA members, and Mark and Mike regularly provide legal programs for members at their annual conventions.
In his acceptance speech, Mark noted that the attorney-client relationship depends on both sides, and he complimented the professionalism and vision of the three MBA presidents with whom he has worked: Don Hicks, Mark Gordon, and Chad Mahoney. He also explained that he was proud to be a friend of Missouri broadcasters, because of the important and reliable news coverage that they provide to their communities.
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